Mannan Oligosaccharides: What They Are, How They Benefit your Cow Herd 

Mannan Oligosaccharides

A common ingredient you will see in BioZyme® products and many animal feedstuffs is MOS, scientifically known as mannan oligosaccharides. We know that this prebiotic is helpful. But how does it work? What is the science behind it? How do you optimize their implementation in your operation’s feed plan? Let’s talk. 

Mannon Oligosaccharides 101 

MOS (mannan oligosaccharides) are prebiotics composed of complex carbohydrate molecules. They are derived from the outer cell wall of S. cerevisiae and certain bacterias.   

These compounds have gained attention for their potential health benefits, particularly in the context of animal nutrition. MOS is commonly used as a feed additive in livestock and poultry diets to promote improved animal productivity through better gastrointestinal and ruminal health. 

So how does it do all that? 

Well, at its most basic, mannan oligosaccharides interact with the gastrointestinal tract. When included in animal diets, MOS acts as a prebiotic—a substance that stimulates the growth and activity of beneficial microorganisms in the gut. 

Prebiotic vs Probiotic: what’s the difference? 

Prebiotics like MOS are especially effective at boosting the production of lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacteria.  

Why is that helpful? 

These microorganisms play a crucial role in maintaining a balanced and healthy gut microbiota. This is critical to overall animal health and performance. 

It Also Protects Your Animals’ Microbiota from Infection 

MOS works by binding to pathogenic bacteria, such as harmful E. coli and Salmonella. By binding to them, it prevents them from attaching to the intestinal lining.  

This competitive exclusion helps reduce the colonization of harmful bacteria in the gut, thereby minimizing the risk of infections. 

And That’s Not All 

Additionally, MOS promotes the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) by beneficial bacteria, which contribute to a lowered pH in the gut. The acidic environment created by SCFAs is unfavorable for the growth of pathogenic bacteria. 

Moreover, mannan oligosaccharides have immunomodulatory properties. They can stimulate the activity of immune cells, such as macrophages and T lymphocytes, enhancing the overall immune response. This immune stimulation can contribute to increased resistance against infections and diseases. 

In Summation… 

If you’re looking to share some fun trivia when you sit down with your family for dinner, tell them this: mannan oligosaccharides are non-digestible carbohydrates. They improve gut health, digestibility, build immunity and are an effective toxic binder.  

Benefits of MOS 

So, you know how it works. It’s important you understand why mannan oligosaccharides make an ideal feed additive due to the many benefits they offer. But what does all that work actually translate to in practice? Let’s discuss the benefits to your animals, and by extension, to you. 

Those benefits include:  

Improve Feed Conversion Rates 

Any time feed conversion increases, an animal will eat less feed and ultimately save the producer money. Efficient gain is what every cow-calf producer strives for. Mannan oligosaccharides in the diet help increase conversion, which is a major benefit, especially when resources are scarce.  

Increase Digestion 

Increased digestion works synergistically with improved feed conversion. The MOS helps maintain balance within the digestive tract, including intestine and stomach. 

Boost Immune Response 

Including MOS impacts the immune system by stimulating the liver to secrete mannose-binding proteins that bind the bacteria triggering the immune response. MOS helps normalize gut microflora and support the immune system. It absorbs pathogens and control diseases while it helps prevent gastrointestinal infections and improves overall immunity. 

Improve Overall Performance 

Since we know that 70% of the immune response lives in the intestinal tract, boosting immunity and increasing digestion is going to lead to improving your animals’ overall performance. A healthy animal that gains more efficiently will ultimately be higher performing. It will offer producers a great return on their investment, and ultimately help them improve their bottom line. 

Care That Comes Full Circle 

BioZyme is an animal health and nutrition company with a commitment to providing the best possible care to animals across the globe. With a company motto of “care that comes full circle,” we believe that every person has a responsibility to care for every animal because that animal is going to provide food, fiber or companionship back to the people. That is care that comes full circle. 

One of the best ways we can provide care is to ensure animals have optimal nutritional products in their diets. This is evident by the family of brands that BioZyme makes. VitaFerm® is our flagship brand. It is the brand that cow-calf producers from border to border rely on. 

The VitaFerm Advantage 

VitaFerm is a line of nutritional supplements for beef cattle that maximize energy and forage utilization for successful production. All VitaFerm products contain AO-Biotics® Amaferm®, a prebiotic research-proven to enhance digestibility. 

Adding VitaFerm, powered by Amaferm to your herd’s diet offers many advantages. The Concept•Aid® products promote effective, easy breeding. The Conserve products are specially formulated to support the health and performance of the whole herd while conserving supplementation cost. HEAT® products are designed specifically to support herd health when heat and insects are a challenge. 

VitaFerm Concept•Aid is formulated at 2.5 times the NRC requirements. Cows that are fed Concept•Aid 60 days pre-calving through 60 days post-breeding should experience quicker clean out, faster breed-backs and thriftier calves. 

To discover the VitaFerm mineral that is right for your operation, take our Concept•Aid Product Quiz

Amaferm & MOS: Winning Combination 

Several of the BioZyme products contain both Amaferm and mannan oligosaccharides to give your cattle the ultimate immune response, health boost and weight gain.  

Two VitaFerm products contain both of these beneficial prebiotics to give your herd the extra boost they deserve. 

VitaFerm Concept•Aid 5/S MOS is a premium free-choice 5% phosphorus vitamin and mineral supplement with MOS for beef cattle designed to support reproductive success. In addition to MOS and Amaferm, it contains organic copper, iodine and zinc for maximum bioavailability, innate immunity and hoof health. It also includes high levels of Vitamin E to support reproductive tract repair and milk quality. 

VitaFerm Conserve® MOS is a free-choice vitamin and mineral supplement for beef cattle with MOS designed to support herd health and performance while conserving cost. The Conserve brand features a complete, but economical vitamin and mineral package. 

More Health Products with MOS 

Remember we mentioned that BioZyme family of brands? Well, for the cattle producer, we have more products with both Amaferm and mannan oligosaccharides. 

Stress Tubs with VitaCharge® technology are tubs for cattle designed to support digestive health and intake. They also include a probiotic to help restore the gut microbiome. These tubs come in 50- and 200-pound sizes. A 50-pound size also comes with the HEAT technology, a combination of essential oils and garlic, to support animals when heat and insects are a challenge. 

Cattle Drench with Vita Charge technology is a drench for cattle designed to support digestive health before, during and after challenges. Additionally, it contains enzymes for a more rapid digestive response. 

Here’s What Our Customers Say 

In Alabama. . . 

“Any calf I get on the place gets a dose of the Cattle Drench. I believe it promotes good gut health and helps get the cattle going. I also use the Stress Tubs starting out these cattle. It’s crucial when starting out the preconditioning of these cattle because it gets them eating. It gets their gut going, while it provides a good source of protein for them while they are in a time of stress.” – Dakota Dalrymple, 3D Cattle Co. 

In Nebraska. . . 

“I swear by the Cattle Drench. In our yearling operation, we have noticeably less sickness and better appetites, both on calves we get in from the sale barn and on home-raised calves. We couple the Cattle Drench with Stress Tubs and within two weeks our calves are off to the races. Consumption gets to 2% per 100 lbs of body weight within 5 days instead of 10.” 

“The quicker I can stimulate appetite and get that young calf to get enough energy intake with the stressful weaning event the better off I am. Our troubles aren’t as prevalent, and we don’t have to treat calves. That’s a savings of $25-$40 per head with the current price of antibiotics. I am a firm believer in the Amaferm in these BioZyme products.” – Matthew Cox 

In Oklahoma. . .  

“My whole protocol has changed because of Cattle Drench. I used to give a lot of antibiotics, fill them up with shots, but once I started using drench, I’ve eliminated every shot I give them. Now, I give them the drench, and I worm them. That’s pretty much it for the first week until they are eating good and drinking good. Then we’ll come back and work them. When I bring in at-risk calves at 130 to 400 pounds, there are Stress Tubs out 24/7.” – Spencer Nero 

Get the Amaferm Advantage with MOS 

You, too, can be like producers and backgrounders across the country, giving your cattle the advantages of double prebiotics with Amaferm and MOS.  Do you want more information? View our educational blog to learn more. 

Looking to buy some of these great BioZyme products for your own herd? Find a dealer closest to you with our dealer locator.  

Prefer to shop online? You can! Just visit our online product store

Leave a Reply